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Chelsea Manning Given Go-Ahead to Legally Change Her Name

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Posted on Apr 23, 2014

AP/U.S. Army, File

Wednesday was an “exciting day” for Chelsea Manning, who was granted the right to a legal name change by a judge in Kansas.

Manning released a statement to celebrate Leavenworth County District Judge David King’s decision, detailing her reasons why making it official matters, starting with the simple explanation that “it’s a far better, richer, and more honest reflection of who I am and always have been: a woman named Chelsea.”

However, as NBC News reported that day, this represents a change in name but not in other markers of status and significance:

While Manning’s military records must also reflect the new name, Army officials aren’t forced to treat Manning as a woman, which means she wouldn’t have to be transferred to a women’s unit at another prison.

Manning’s confinement status wouldn’t necessarily change, Army spokesman George Wright told The Associated Press.

“Likewise, the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks is a male-only facility and prisoners there are referred to by the title ‘inmate,’” Wright said in a statement.

Manning wrote that while she struggled with her gender identity, she felt compelled to legally change her name through the courts. But she said she still needs the military’s help to get proper healthcare access.

Read Chelsea Manning’s statement in full here.

—Posted by Kasia Anderson

 

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